Ready or not, here they come!
In just 9 days, 20,000 RAGBRAI participants from all over the world will roll into town, and we are encouraging community members to be a part of the fun by volunteering to help make DeWitt’s overnight stop one to remember.
DeWitt RAGBRAI organizers have planned a full day of live entertainment, great food and fun on a scale our downtown has never seen before. An event of this size will require hundreds of volunteers to make it a success and shine a spotlight on the thing we love most about DeWitt – our residents! We are looking for volunteers to staff information centers, be tour guides on shuttle buses, work the Beverage Garden, put out signs, direct traffic, help with cleanup, welcome riders into town and say farewell as they leave. There’s a job for everyone and every skill level.
“RAGBRAI is a rare opportunity to showcase our community to thousands of visitors from across the state, the country, and even the world,” said Greg Gannon, President of DeWitt Bank & Trust Co. “It is important we make a favorable impression on these visitors, as any one of them could choose to become a future resident or business owner in our community.”
DeWitt Bank & Trust Co. is encouraging its employees to volunteer on DeWitt RAGBRAI committees or other participating organizations to help ensure the event is successful.
“We are adjusting our staff schedules to accommodate employees who are volunteering. We encourage other businesses and their employees to volunteer to the extent possible so that our community can realize all the benefits RAGBRAI has to offer,” Gannon said.
As an added incentive, DeWitt RAGBRAI is providing grant money to encourage volunteerism in our community. When a volunteer signs up, they are asked to attribute their shift to a local nonprofit. Every nonprofit that is identified for 50 or more volunteer shifts will receive a $500 grant. The nonprofit that is identified on the most volunteer shifts will receive an additional $500, so $1,000 total.
If you’re not directly involved with a nonprofit, you can designate your hours to go toward a nonprofit organization you feel most connected to. All volunteers will also receive an official RAGBRAI volunteer T-shirt at the volunteer training and T-shirt pick up event on Monday, July 26 at the Central DeWitt High School at 6 p.m. or 6:45 p.m.
Ron Zimmer, RAGBRAI DeWitt Ride Right committee member, has ridden on RAGBRAI many times, so as he talks to the community about volunteering, he shares his experiences to let people know what to expect and how they can help.
“My first RAGBRAI experience quickly showed me why it is so popular to so many people,” Zimmer said. “Bikes are not a fast way to move across the state and the route is intentionally setup to enjoy the people and communities of Iowa at a slowed down pace. The term ‘Iowa nice’ is on full display. The smiling volunteers that welcome you, direct you, and help you experience the wonderful towns they know and love is what makes the magic of the RAGBRAI experience.”
Zimmer’s advice to volunteers is: “Be friendly, be patient, expect a lot of questions, and be prepared to make a lot of new friends as thousands of people slow down and enjoy the wonderful people and community of DeWitt. It really is an amazing experience.”
Please consider donating a few hours or all day, and have a lot fun while doing it!
Want to help? You can sign up for a shift or two at:
Facebook and Twitter @dewittragbrai